I don’t know about you, but when I think vacation/holiday/relaxing time away, I usually think swimming, cold drinks, warm sunshine, reading, eating, and chilling out.
Which is actually exactly what happened when we spent the first part of our family Christmas holiday at the Brisbane Marriott. A city hotel is not a choice that first comes to mind when you’re on a beach vacation, I’ll admit – but when I received the invitation to have a little time away in the city with room service, poolside cocktails and housekeeping, well that certainly reminded me one should always keep an open mind!
Given our Christmas Day was going to start in Brisbane anyway, it worked out exceptionally well. Especially when we were told we’d be staying on the Executive Level, a la Obama, with afternoon tea every day and canapés and drinks every night. Tough days, dear reader. Tough days.
We arrived the day before Christmas, and the kids wasted no time getting into the pool with their dad and I wasted no time settling in via the spa. One aromatherapy massage with relaxing oils later, I was in full holiday mode. I even made sure to do some last minute work and email in the car on the way to the hotel so I could fully indulge in fluffing my brain with rejuvenating holiday endorphins.
I somehow even jammed both my bracelets together as I rolled over on the massage table and my lovely masseuse made the joke I’d handcuffed myself in order to stay, as she tried to unscramble the silver with her oily fingers. I couldn’t stop laughing, which I guess adds to happy brain chemical production. Win-win.
Grandma played with the girls in our room later while the husband and I retreated to the Executive Lounge for the promised canapés and drinks. We made ourselves a little cheese platter and sat near the window, seeing Brisbane with new eyes after our year in Melbourne.
We stuffed ourselves silly with all the vegetarian (some even vegan, actually) options during dinner at the Motion Bar and Grill – breads, dips, a veggie curry, and a pumpkin soup. The girls had kid-size pizzas and coloured in quietly until it was time to go for a drive and visit the Christmas lights.
The next morning, Biggie and I left a sleeping dad and sister, and had a few minutes to ourselves to have a cup of tea and a read of the newspaper in the Executive Lounge before breakfast. As you do. Excellent for when you don’t want to put the kettle on in your room, waking all and sundry. We clearly made use of the facilities so I’d definitely spring for executive level again on our next stay, as I know we’d get our money’s worth.
Soon after, we headed back to the lobby for breakfast at Motion, and introduced both girls to the best holiday treat of all – Coco Pops for breakfast. Bigs loved it, Smalls not so much. She ate three tubs of yogurt instead, and some Vegemite toast.
Not me – I could be found pouring truffle oil onto my morning mushrooms. Heaven help me, that was good!
More swimming was on the agenda before meeting friends and wandering around the Botanical Gardens. We chilled out in the afternoon – me with magazines provided for guests, and the girls with Christmas cartoons. Dad had met a friend in the city for a beer.
Christmas Eve dinner was a festive affair complete with Christmas crackers, and we were very well looked after by staff working hard through the holidays. Leon, Orsolya, and Lyla made sure we were comfortable, had plenty of food (confit garlic pizza bread, more pumpkin soup, a lentil pie with whipped mash, more kid pizza, and fries with aioli), and had excellent wine to hand. The atmosphere was good, the Christmas cracker jokes bad. It was awesome.
Santa had no trouble finding us overnight, and the girls woke to some new dresses and playthings. Peter Rabbit was invited to a special tea party before we headed down to breakfast dangerously close to the end of the first sitting. We had to scarf down our goodies in 15 minutes, but our waitress Rihanna was so wonderful she organised coffee and a takeaway plate of pancakes and syrup for us to enjoy at leisure in our room. Our other waitress Shanie chatted with the girls about what presents Santa had brought, which was sweet. The girls even hugged Lyla as we arrived, they were so excited. Everyone was so great and made our Christmas morning very special.
After a leisurely start with coffee and a bit of reading, it was time to check out and continue the festivities with our Brisbane family, which included me eating basically a whole tray of potato bake before heading to the Sunshine Coast where I made good friends with a bottle of rum and some Bon Jovi. A very successful start to a very relaxing holiday!
For more info, or if you’d like to book your own stay, pop over here. They’ll totally look after you.
*We were guests of the Brisbane Marriott. Everything was included, except dinner both nights.